The USS John Paul Jones arrived at its new home port of Pearl Harbor Friday morning.
John Paul Jones brings updated advanced Aegis capabilities to the surface group, and will replace Lake Erie here as a rotational Ballistic Missile Defense deployer and testing ship as part of a long-range U.S. commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
"For the past year, 1.5 years in San Diego, that ship's been going through a series of modernization," said Cmdr. Andrew Thomson, the John Paul Jones commanding officer. "We have the looks of a destroyer on the outside, but on the inside we have the latest in the terms of computers and equipment."
The guided-missile destroyer is an exchange for the former locally-based guide-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie, which will depart for an extended docking ship repair in San Diego in the near future.
The Lake Erie will remain homeported out of San Diego once repairs are complete.
Thomson said his crew has proven that they are ready to assume the role as the Navy's Integrated Air and Missile Defense test ship. In the coming years, the ship is expected to test newer and more advanced systems that will be used to defend the nation and allied forces overseas, Thomson said.
Alongside the John Paul Jones is the USS Preble, which also arrived this week. While the USS John Paul Jones tracks threats in the skies, the USS Preble was designed to intercept threats in the ocean.
"When Preble is deployed with an aircraft carrier as a guided missile destroyer capable of finding and tracking submarines. We protect the air craft carrier, so the air craft carrir can do its job, which is to launc hand recover an aircraft," said Cmdr. Bob Bryans of the USS Preble.
John Paul Jones was commissioned Dec. 18, 1993 and is named after American Revolutionary War Naval Captain John Paul Jones. She was built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.
The USS PReble is named after a U.S. naval hero too.